As regular visitors to N.C. Policy Watch are well-aware, the phenomenon of so-called “virtual charter schools” is an issue of great controversy these days. Proponents say they’re the greatest thing since sliced bread , but as several stories here (especially about the troubled for-profit virtual charter company K-12, Inc.) have documented, the bread often gets sliced pretty thin by these outfits. Not all virtual charter companies are dishonest scammers, but enough are to render the entire concept highly questionable.
A Sunday editorial in the Winston-Salem Journal does a good job of reiterating this hard truth:
“Some legislators want North Carolina to jump into business with for-profit companies that would run the online charters. But this is a decision that should not be made rashly. The [state Board of Education's] preference of a go-slow approach makes much more sense….
Virtual charters raise a great many questions about their effectiveness, their impact on traditional public schools and other charters, their availability to students of all economic backgrounds and their quality.
Many educators fear that virtual charters are a scam, nothing more than a way for a for-profit business to siphon off some of the tax money being spent on public education….
The cautious approach that allows the state to learn how virtual charters work best is the right way to go.”
Read the entire editorial by clicking here.